India domestic season: Women's 50-over competition to begin on March 11


Matches to be held across six venues; teams to report at centres on March 4

Three days after news about a women’s bilateral series between India and South Africa starting March 7 came out, the BCCI has finalised a plan for the resumption of the women’s domestic season with the 50-over one-day tournament beginning March 11. Though no official statement to that effect has come from the board, a letter from Jay Shah, the board secretary, has gone out with the details – including the full schedule of matches – to the affiliated units of the BCCI.

The tournament will be held across six venues: Surat, Rajkot, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai and Bengaluru. Teams will have to assemble at their respective venues by March 4 and will need to return three negative Covid-19 tests – on March 4, 6 and 8 – before entering the respective bio-bubbles.

Each of the five elite groups have six teams each, while the plate group has seven – unlike in the men’s format, where there are eight teams in the plate category because Services are not a part of the women’s circuit. Each of the group toppers – six – qualify directly for the knockouts, while two more slots are set to be filled after a pre-quarter-final round.

The quarter-finals will be held on March 29, and semi-finals on April 1. The final will be played on April 4. The venues for the knockouts will be announced later.

Bengal were the winners when the domestic 50-over competition last ran to its conclusion, during the 2018-19 season. The subsequent season had to be called off midway because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elite Group A: Jharkhand, Odisha, Hyderabad, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh, Tripura
Elite Group B: Railways, Bengal, Saurashtra, Haryana, Assam, Uttarakhand
Elite Group C: Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, Chandigarh
Elite Group D: Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Kerala, Baroda, Punjab, Nagaland
Elite Group E: Karnataka, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Vidarbha, Meghalaya
Plate Group: Pondicherry, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Bihar, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh